The American Kennel Club recognizes 150 different dog breeds. There are seven different groups in which the dog can belong. They are assigned to one of the groups based on what the breed of dog was originally developed for. There is also a miscellaneous group if the dog doesn’t fit into one of the seven. The seven different dog groups are as follows.
The first is the sporting group. These dogs were developed to work with people who hunted birds. A Labrador Retriever would fit into this group. Labs can also be beneficial as guide dogs and in search and rescue.
The second group is the hound group. These dogs were developed to hunt using their scent and sight. This group includes the Whippet, which is the fastest domestic animal of their size. They can run up to 35 mph.
Thirdly, is the working group, which includes the Saint Bernard. They have been known for hundreds of years for their rescue work in the Alps. Other dogs in this group are useful for herding or guarding.
The fourth group is the terrier group, first developed to hunt vermin. The Australian Terrier, one of the smallest terriers, is a part of this group. They were developed to work side by side with the Australian pioneers to aid in tending the sheep or chasing off invaders.
The fifth group is the toy group, developed to be companions. A Japanese Chin is a good example. They like to play, show off, and spend lots of time trying to keep clean and tidy.
The sixth group is the non-sporting group, which overall do not perform the tasks that they were originally developed for. A good example would be the American Eskimo Dog. These dogs were sometimes used in circus acts at the beginning of the century.
The seventh group is the herding group, which was meant to be used in working with livestock. The German Shepherd is in this group. They are not only useful in herding livestock, they are also great companions to humans.
Originally, many dog breeds were first developed for specific uses, such as hunting, companionship, herding, etc. Today, because man has created such a large variety of dog breeds, there is a dog out there to make almost anybody happy. Currently, the most popular dog breed in America is the Labrador Retriever, with the Golden Retriever coming in second.
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